In other transition news, Biden and Harris will meet with diplomatic, intelligence and defense experts, and the president-elect fills key positions.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has claimed his daughter has been inoculated against COVID-19 after the country became the first in the world to register a vaccine for the disease.
The coronavirus vaccine candidate being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University induces a strong immune response and appears to be safe, according to preliminary trial results. The early stage trial found the vaccine trains the immune system to produce antibodies and white blood cells capable of fighting the virus, causing few side effects. Professor Sarah Gilbert, co-author of the Oxford University study, described the findings as promising but said there “is still much work to be done before we can confirm if our vaccine will help manage the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Health secretary Matt Hancock has warned that conspiracy theorists are putting lives at risk, even as he hailed the positive results from the Oxford University trial. A new poll, organised by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, found more than one in four Britons said they would not take a coronavirus vaccine or were still undecided.
And England’s chief nursing officer has confirmed she was “dropped” from a No 10 coronavirus press briefing in June after warning Dominic Cummings should follow the lockdown rules that apply “to us all”. It comes after The Independent revealed last month Ruth May had been due to appear alongside Matt Hancock, the health secretary, but was ditched after failing to offer support to Boris Johnson’s senior Downing Street adviser.
‘In addition to the survey, Scope has written to prime minister Boris Johnson, calling for him to prioritise the needs of disabled people, 59 per cent of whom are worried about being forgotten by the government.’
The other 41% realise that they have never been remembered by this government and never will be.
The high cost of pharmaceuticals often means only the richest patients get lifesaving medicines. As coronavirus drugs emerge, it will require hard, creative work to ensure they’re available to all.
A vaccine that’s 70% effective might not be good enough if too few people are willing to be vaccinated, new research shows.
COVID-19 and SARS are both deadly – but different. SARS symptoms were quick to appear, making it easier to contain. Because health officials were able to contain it, the virus died off.